Sustainable Development

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Members of the governing council of the African Forest Forum, AFF have expressed the need for ambitious transformational actions by all actors in forestry in Africa, including regional and sub-regional organizations , other stakeholders, to achieve the institutions goals and targets of raising the profile of African Forestry.

 Accordingly, one of the core functions of the AFF is to strengthen high level political engagement, with the participation of major groups and other stakeholders in support of sustainable forest management.

“ African Forest Forum commits to sustainable management, wise use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources for the socio-economic well-being of its peoples and for the stability and improvement of its environment,” reads the organizations release at the 18th session of the governing council meeting in Nairobi Kenya 30-31 March, 2023.

In this regard, the governing council  and the technical support team in their working document outlined work plan blue print with proposals  that will improve forest management, reversing the loss of forest cover, enhancing forest-based economic, social, and environmental benefits and  mobilizing financial resources and strengthening scientific and technical cooperation; promoting governance frameworks to advance implementation of both local and regional projects.

According to Mcarthy Oyebo President of AFF governing council, the organization should forge ahead with its mission of information sharing and expertise,” create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote economic and social development and protect the environment”

Opening the session, the chair announced the inclusion of new members into the council from the media, research and academia.

AFF he said was the real power house in forestry thinking in Africa, calling on the body map out innovative ways to make to make forest part of the continent’s economy.

“The potential of forestry to pull investors and drive the economy of the continent is huge. The myriad of opportunities in the forestry sector should be fully exploited. Investors want to see return of their investments, so AFF should look beyond conservation and think business” Mcarthy said.

According to AFF executive secretary, the organization has since creation been spearheading a series of pan-African initiatives on how forest and trees can be better conserved to supports livelihoods, improve national  and individual incomes and the environment, adding that Africa Forest Forum main focus has always been centering on people and the environment they live in.

“The forests and trees outside the forests are resources that must be managed sustainably and used judiciously. This is the only way we can address the needs of the people and improve the environment,” Prof. Godwin Kowero said at the opening of the session.

Among other things, AFF has been looking at how African countries are integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation options in the forestry sector and how this process is progressing. It has also looked at how national forest governance is responding to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiative, the capacity for implementing REDD+ activities sub-Sahara African countries , exploring the use of dryland resources and commodities to promote nature-based entrepreneurship opportunities that could enhance livelihoods, national incomes, and employment; specifically focusing on natural gums and resins, among others, Professor Kowero explained.

 The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a Pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use, and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio-economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment.

DAR-ES-SALAAM, (PAMACC News)The Government of Tanzania intends to develop a Marine Spatial Plan to guide all economic activities within the Indian Ocean in order to reap greater benefits from a more sustainable blue economy.

The Marine Spatial Plan will encompass all activities in the ocean, including fishing (small scale and deep sea), aquaculture and marine products, seaweed farming, construction of strategic infrastructure for ports and sea transport, seafood and fish processing, oil and gas extraction, and beach tourism and water sports.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Vice President’s Office, Ms. Mary Maganga, the plan will deliver more benefits from the ocean to communities and the nation through sustainable practices while strengthening the blue economy.

To set the foundation for the plan, a pre-feasibility study has been concluded. Commissioned by The Nature Conservancy and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the study reviewed the current status of marine spatial planning in the country and the state of policy, legal and administrative frameworks. It proposes a roadmap for developing the plan.

Speaking at a workshop in Dar-es-Salaam to validate the pre-feasibility study, Ms. Maganga said: “The marine spatial planning is part of the solution to bring about the sustainable use of our ocean resources and open economic and employment opportunities based on proper management of the environment and dealing with climate change”.

The two-day workshop brought together ocean users, government officials, development partners, as well as local and international NGOs.

The Nature Conservancy’s Tanzania Country Director, Ms. Lucy Magembe told the workshop that 25 marine spatial plans have been implemented worldwide and have proven to be a practical approach for engaging communities, stakeholders, and governments to expand marine protection, meet conservation goals, and improve sustainability of both economic and non-commercial activities.

"We are working closely with the Government of Tanzania and other partners to manage human activities in the ocean to ensure they are sustainable. The Marine Spatial Plan will ensure that communities around the ocean benefit from it, while protecting the environment," added Ms. Magembe. 

The pre-feasibility study was funded by the German Government’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative, as part of a five-year (2021-2025) regional project entitled 'Strengthening the Blue Economy of the WIO through the integration of ecosystem services and effective biodiversity conservation’ covering Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

LOME, Togo (PAMACC News) - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a dual-currency Trade Finance Line of Credit for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) comprising $50 million and EUR 50 million. An additional co-financing of $30 million for the credit line will come through the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

EBID will use the three-and-a-half-year facility to provide direct financing to local corporates. Part of the facility will also be channelled through select local banks for on-lending to key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and transport. The ultimate beneficiaries will be Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs), local enterprises cooperatives and farmers in the West Africa region.

Speaking soon after the Board approval, the Deputy Director General for the West Africa Region, Joseph Ribeiro noted that regional development finance institutions like EBID are key partners of the African Development Bank and serve markets and client segments critical to the overall development of the continent.

“They play an important role in promoting trade and regional integration. This is the Bank’s first financing support to EBID, and we look forward to an even stronger partnership in the near future,” he said.

The Bank’s Head of Trade Finance, Lamin Drammeh, stressed the critical need for such support in the region. “We are excited to work with EBID to increase access to trade finance in the ECOWAS region with a special focus on the agriculture value chain, SMEs and women-owned businesses”, he said. “Regional institutions like EBID complement the Bank’s efforts to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa and serve as an effective conduit for channeling much-needed funds to underserved countries and sectors”, he added.

The African Development Bank estimates the annual trade finance gap for Africa to be around $81 billion. Compared to multinational corporates and large local corporates, SMEs and other domestic firms have greater difficulty in accessing trade finance.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC ) - Ahead of the annual gathering of world leaders in Davos next week, Alvaro Lario, President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), warns of the urgent need to invest at speed and scale in long-term rural development to prevent recurring food crises and end hunger and poverty.

“We cannot continue to go from food crisis to food crisis. We should not have to see countries experiencing acute food insecurity over and over again. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. We must take immediate and concrete actions to strengthen our failing food systems - this requires strong commitment and bold investment,” said Lario.

At Davos, Lario will be calling for a massive scale-up of investments in agriculture, and long-term rural development from governments, investors and private companies with the view to ensure nutritional security and food sovereignty, an issue that has become critical for developing countries. At least an additional US$30 billion per year in investments are needed according to pre-COVID19 estimates, now the costs are even higher.

“Only long-term investments in rural economies can provide long-lasting solutions to hunger, under-nutrition and poverty. This is what will enable small-scale farmers to increase local production, better adapt to climate change, build short and local food chains, build and sustain local markets and commercial opportunities, and create small rural businesses. This approach makes a lot of economic sense,” said the IFAD President.

According to World Bank research, growth in agriculture is two to four times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors.


Today, the world is experiencing an unprecedented food crisis due to the convergence of high food, energy and fertilizer prices linked to the war in Ukraine, and several climate shocks. Key drivers of hunger remain conflict, climate change and the economic slowdown and difficult recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of people facing acute food insecurity soared - from 135 million in 2019 to 345 million in 2022. Currently, a total of 49 million people in 49 countries live on the edge of famine. One person in ten - about 828 million people - are currently suffering from hunger defined as chronic undernourishment. In addition, almost 3.1 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet. Increasingly world food consumption is concentrated on three main crops (wheat, maize and rice). An estimated 45 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, 149 million children have stunted growth and development due to a chronic lack of essential nutrients in their diet, while 39 million are overweight.

Despite global commitments to end hunger by 2030, donor support for agriculture has been stagnant at just 4 percent of total ODA for at least two decades. About 3 billion people live in the rural areas of developing countries and they rely to a significant extent on small-scale farming for their food and livelihoods.


In the years to come, extreme weather events will likely increase in frequency and magnitude, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Global food systems are at increased risk of disruption, with potential supply shortages and price hikes.

As the world becomes more fragile, building food sovereignty and security by strengthening local resilience, ensuring local production and well-functioning markets will become increasingly vital. Part of the solution also lies in supporting indigenous cropping systems, agro-ecology and reducing food waste and loss which represents about one third of the food produced today. 

“We should not wait another minute to invest in rural areas. With climate change accelerating, we have a very narrow window of opportunity to help rural populations adapt, and continue to produce the food that they and their communities need to survive - which in turn is key to global health and stability,” said Lario.

Research shows that future crop yields could decline by up to a quarter by the end of the century with extreme weather events increasing in regularity and intensity. Also more than 35 per cent of the global cropland used to grow wheat and rice could be subject to damaging hot spells by 2050.

Small-scale farmers who produce one third of the world’s food receive less than 2 percent of global climate finance.

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